Do homework and drinking go together? Wait, don't answer. And tell Miss Meredith V. to tune out.
Normally you might not think so, but you have never tried to help my Masie, the seven year old, with homework.
Let me go back a little and give some insight on my second oldest. I like to say Masie was born with just about everything wrong you can think of, but none of it life-threatening. She was underweight slightly, jaundiced, had 5 holes in her heart(ASD's and VSD's). Her nose was squashed. She had a high fever and so on. She was basically one of those babies that people see and say 'oh gee, they all look the same, don't they.' Like the Seinfeld episode- look at the beautiful baby! Isn't she gorgeous.
No, Masie was not a cute one.
Then ten days after May was born, she started to cry 12 hours a day, all day and did not stop. She threw up (not spit up) all the time, had to have breathing treatments, had RSV, 11 ear infections by 5 months, tubes twice, and a constant rash on her face and bum.
Deep breath everyone.
My husband and I (Jerm) like to say, we worked really really hard to love her. I know it sounds awful, but it's the truth. There were days that The Guilt ate me alive. I couldn't help her, maybe I didn't even like her, it was a swirling, heartbreaking cycle of misery.
Yet, as May's little life unfolded the road smoothed out and she became a sweet, cuddly, happy, quiet, but best of all, a regular old baby. We were lucky that everything cleared up on its own and we had no serious developmental or medical issues continue. Very lucky.
May went on to preschool and so sweet was she everyone just loved her. She was always the little mascot. She could do no wrong, she was cute no matter what. Then we moved and she went to another preschool, where the teacher's said, 'oh. she's a little behind, maybe we'd advise not moving her onto kindergarten, but she is so so sweet and kind and cute'. I contemplated and weighed my options and moved her anyway. Her Kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Smiles, said she is so sweet and doing great, just have to remind her a thing or two. She was in speech therapy, then onto Title 1 reading and first grade with Mrs. Cuddles. Where, her teachers all said, she's doing great, way caught up with her reading, everyone in the class loves her, she's the center, A's and B's, and passed on to 2nd grade.
Then we moved again. And started 2nd grade. May has never known a school without a best friend, a hugging teacher, or adoring classmates. It has hit her in the face like a swarm of gnats she never saw coming. May entered a world where the teacher, expected you to do everything on your own. Where she asked kids to play and they didn't answer or didn't find her at recess. SHE actually sat alone at lunch. AND the homework. AND D's and F's. I didn't know they gave those grades to 7 year olds. I didn't have a D or F until I was in college and, well, you know how those grades happen.
It has been heartbreaking to watch my little girl who has always put on a happy face, struggle with this. It has been heartbreaking to try to convince her that she will make friends and she is smart. Which she is, and very creative, just easily distracted. I won't even get started on backpack unpacking, morning routine, or remembering your lunchbox everyday, dance bag, locating soccer gear.....
Yesterday afternoon we started working on a coffee can book character project. I started her early because I knew she would need breaks. She chose Peter Rabbit, and drew the best Peter Rabbit I think a 7 year old could draw and added three dimensional garden fence, jacket, flowers, bushes, and buttons. This was a breeze for little May, so good I told her, 'make sure the teacher knows you did this by yourself'.
Then she had to write sentences about Peter Rabbit.
It was almost physical PAIN. Maybe you should write it a little straighter, um, Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cotton Tail were not actually six brothers, Peter does like carrots, no Mr. McGregor is not Mi. Junker, just look at the book sweetie, let's draw lines, they all need a period, maybe write a little bigger so Mrs. Prunes can read it, maybe don't swirl it off the page, maybe don't push your pencil so hard-so it won't break or smear, h isn't n, g is p, and p is g, and g is not q, d is b, and b is d, remember the b looks at E's old house, pay attention, clean up your work area, and, well, I'll stop there. All of it little, but all together, well, concerning?
She hasn't tested as having any learning disorders or disabilities and frankly, her teachers haven't expressed concern, even now. She went from great reports from Mrs. Prunes at the beginning to VERY BEHIND on WORK, STAY ORGANIZED. Yet, at the same time, Mrs. Prunes in a conference, told me everything was great and May is focused and so so very sweet.
I understand the frustration, believe me, it took 2 glasses of wine to get through the project, sentences, alphabetizing spelling words, math, and vocabulary. But, please don't let my little girl fall through the cracks because she is so so sweet and cute (and you can't drink at school).
And Mrs. Prunes, please respond to my e-mail, maybe we can share a glass of wine together.
I know so many of you face worse struggles and heartbreak. So I raise my homework wine to you and your trials, joys, and strengths.
Today's wine: a Tempranillo. And a slice of Tres Leches cake, the comfort food of desserts is there ever was one!
(We'll do our Beach Bum run tomorrow!)
xoxo, BLATANTLY being a mommy blogger, Flavia
xoxo, BLATANTLY being a mommy blogger, Flavia
Update: Of course the sentences were supposed to be in order! did the directions say this? I don't remember? Also, she was the only one in the class that did not choose a human character, AND I think she was a little proud to be a little different!